Abazov, Rafis, ed. Green Desert: The Life and Poetry of Olzhas Suleimenov. San Francisco-New York: Cognella, 2011. ISBN #978-1-60927-757-4
Green Desert: The Life and Poetry of Olzhas Suleimenov is the first comprehensive translation of Olzhas Suleimenov's poetry in English, which provides a concise overview of the poet’s rich literary heritage and serves as an introduction to contemporary literature of Kazakhstan and Eurasia. Suleimenov, whom Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky once aptly called "Asia at the Steering Wheel", has emerged as one of Kazakhstan and Central Asia's most influential intellectuals, authors and poets of the last half century. Since 1991, Suleimenov has proven to be one of the most outspoken members of the post-independence Kazakh intelligentsia, as he promoted and convinced his admirers to embrace globalization, liberal democratic values, a moderate all-inclusive 'civil nationalism', and a balanced approach to building positive relations with both West and East alike.
Green Desert is an introduction to a completely different non-Western cultural universe and the vibrant mystic poetry of the Kazakh steppe, and is designed as a supplementary reader and textbook for students studying 20th century Russian and Central Asian literature, culture and intellectual history. This work is also useful for general audiences
to learn about modern literary trends in the part of the world that exemplifies the complicity of cultural dynamics -- inclusive of the rich and diverse literary traditions of Kazakhstan, a nation where Western and Eastern traditions are blend into a hybridized and unique intellectual universe.
About the editor:
Dr. Rafis Abazov is adjunct associate professor at Hunter College and Columbia University (New York). He has written six books, including The Culture and Customs of the Central Asian Republics. His research interest and publications focus on the area of cultural globalization, as well as the intellectual history, public policy, and contemporary trends in political development that are emerging throughout Central Eurasia and Russia.
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